Washington DC is full of politics. My oh my! Want to know what else is full of political people?
What I mean by that is the church, like all large gatherings of people, is full of politics and difficult people. I have found that some of the rudest and most judgmental people around are Christians. Yes, accepting Christ and putting on the robe of Christianity may not automatically heal you as a person, but it does make you spotless in the eyes of the Lord. However, that does not allow you to lord yourself over others. Just because you have money and status in the community or even the church itself does not grant you some new type of power that is only accessible to people like you.
No wonder non-Christians are full of such anger and bitterness against the church. The church is full of people who are the angriest, meanest, and most self-centered. This is not to say that all Christians are this way and it is also not to say that I am blame free because I am most assuredly not. However, some of the actions and words I have heard from Christians about others and myself included have been full of poison.
People change. Church is about people coming together for encouragement and growth. The simple fact of the matter is people change over time and are not who or what they were. But by all means let us hold everything from their past against them. That brings me to my next point: Forgiveness. Is it really for everyone? Biblically, yes. Humanly, no. Humans hold grudges and assume things. Humans take the word of people they like versus doing the Biblical thing and talking about it with the person. I am guilty of this, too.
So, how do you deal with those people at church who clearly dislike you. Dislike you with a passion more like. You know the ones. The ones who avert their eyes in the hallway when you pass by. The ones who turn their back when they see you approaching their pew. The ones who act holier than thou and then would slit your throat (metaphorically and possible literally) when given an opportunity.
My first thought is automatically sarcasm. It is my natural defense to something that hurts my feelings. Yes, my feelings are hurt by these actions. Oh well. I know I should offer to sit down and talk about whatever needs to be discussed, but for the life of me I cannot think of what horrible crime was committed. I should not wear my feelings on my sleeve, but I do. Brothers and sisters in Christ are supposed to be just that, a family. Families are supposed to talk and be open with each other, forgiving and encouraging each other.
To me, this is political because it will have the domino effect. When someone of status in the church dislikes someone else, the disliked member slowly finds them self getting pushed out. The church cannot function in that manner. A church may be a brick and mortar building but it is made up of redeemed souls who should take the time and energy from their anger to win more souls.